Vinux | Ubuntu Linux for the visually impaired
Have you heard about Vinux? Vinux is a GNU/Linux distribution specially targetted for Visually impaired computer users. It has a host of tools for making the tech lifes of people with vision disorders a lot better. Vinux is based on Ubuntu Linux. Read on to find out more.
Vinux is a remastered version of the popular Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat distribution optimised for the needs of people with vision disorders. By default it provides three screen-readers, two full-screen magnifiers, global font-size and colour changing facilities as well as support for USB Braille displays.
Whats in a name?
Vinux stands for VI Linux which means Visually Impaired, obviously speaks volumes about its targeted uses. Ironically the developers claim that the most accurate definiton of the name is 'Vinux Is Not Ubuntu but gnu/linuX'! in keeping with the standard Unix tradition.
On booting with Vinux you will be greeted by the Orca screen-reader/magnifier which enables you to navigate the graphical Gnome desktop using keybindings, as well as providing full screen-magnification if required.
For those who prefer to work in a simple text based console there is the Speakup screen-reader. A second full-screen magnifier is provided by the Compiz Window Manager, which uses 3D technology to allow you to magnify and navigate the whole screen using the mouse, or move a resizable virtual magnifying glass around the screen.
Finally, Brltty provides Grade 1/2 Braille output via the Orca screen-reader. By default all of the screen-readers use the same Espeak Speech Synthesizer via Speech-Dispatcher which provides a seamless experience for the user when switching from one screen-reader to another!
In our opinion this is one distro you should readily support as it is build for those of us who are less fortunnate to have received the gift of sight and this would go a long way in making their lives much better.